Want to vet your tenants properly? Privacy Commissioner says Yeah Nah

By Hmmm

The Privacy Commissioner’s office has released a ridiculous list of privacy rules for landlords to apply when they are vetting prospective tenants. I can only wonder if they are going to get around to providing an identical list of questions that cannot be asked of employees, people applying for a bank loans, or a Police Security Clearance etc?

This is simply going to get rid of more mom-and-pop landlords and make the current rental shortage even worse. Did anyone ask the tenants or was it an ivory tower legal desk bound exercise by the tweeting privacy commissioner Edwards’ mob?

It looks like government departments and public entities are going haywire. The list of data that they claim is “almost never justified” to collect before making your decision on which tenant to put into your investment property tenant INCLUDES:

  • Broad consent to collect personal information from “other sources” (e.g. Tenancy Tribunal?)
  • Driver licence number ( You can’t do a credit check without it)
  • Credit card information
  • Nationality, ethnicity, origin or citizenship (remember the Russian diplomat who took off?)
  • Physical or mental disability or illness (How do you ensure health and safety of tenant, co-tenants and neighbours without this information?)
  • Personal beliefs or opinions
  • Marital and family status (How do you assess the suitability of the property for those who want to live there)
  • Gender and sexual orientation
  • Rent paid at previous tenancy ( That tells the landlord if they can afford to rent the property.)
  • Sports and hobbies (yeah great, want to have a drummer practicing?)
  • Current expenses
  • Conflicts with previous neighbour tenants or building managers (how to ensure health and safety of neighbours and property managers)
  • Proof of insurance (will I be out of pocket if tenant or friends smash up place?)
  • Languages spoken (will communication be a problem?)
  • Details about current accommodation
  • Banking history
  • Employment history
  • Age (apparently one can ask if they are over – 18. Just not exact age)
  • Employment status (Bring me your poor, tired and hungry ?)